Happy 7th Birthday Twitter!

twitter b-day

I love Twitter. It’s a great place to see what real people are talking about instead of what the media wants you to talk about. It’s also a great place for ADD time-wasting on a phone, something those of us who don’t play Angry Birds are in need of in Airport Terminals. Most of all I love how it’s built on text: Twitter is a writer’s challenge come true: 140 characters. Yes, I think I can do that!

In case you haven’t picked up on it, the twitter character limit is my standard sentence length for “underliner” moments in my books. (If Twitter was invented during Hemingway’s tense lifetime the famously terse author might not have committed suicide.) I often copy a sentence I’m working on for a chapter into Twitter and edit it and edit it down till it’s tweetable, and copy it back into my word processor, after tweeting it out with a hashtag for good measure.

I should at this point respond to those who have asked why I don’t follow them or, more importantly, why I “unfollowed” them. I’m sorry, I may have unfollowed you on Twitter at some point in the past for a variety of reasons. Let me also apologize because I may still unfollow you in the future.

Here’s why:

twitter egg[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]1) Your avatar is the standard “egg” of Twitter[/highlight]–which tells me that you haven’t hatched yet. I may have followed you when you jumped on Twitter at the start. But this is the sure sign that you aren’t really “here.” If you don’t have a pic of yourself

[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]2) You because your avatar isn’t your face.[/highlight] Honestly–the logo of your church or your latest instagram pic is awesome–but I’m on Twitter to follow REAL PEOPLE. Don’t be bashful. Be yourself!

[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]3) You don’t tweet enough. [/highlight]If you’re not tweeting at least once a week I really don’t need to follow you. Apparently we can connect via email someday if we need to.

[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]4) You tweet too much. [/highlight]This is a tricky balance… it’s just like talking in real conversation. The only time I forgive this is when someone like Jon Acuff is live-tweeting an event like the Oscars or the Super Bowl. I might tweet too much from time to time… I don’t toss someone for an occasional infraction–but if you tweet what you’re eating at every single meal, then I unfollow you in a week.

[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]5) You only tweet to link to your website. [/highlight]Yes, I do this too much perhaps. Most that came to this page found it via my tweets or social media links–or someone else’s. A little bit of self-promotion is okay… like once a day if you are truly blogging once a day. But more than once a day? I don’t know–maybe if you’re pushing out a ton of other great content from other people too (like my friends Heath Mullikin and Erik Fisher who are both social media geniuses who find great content to tweet out–plus link to their own stuff from time to time but less than the former). Here’s my general thinking: if you’re not linking to others or shouting out to others more than your’e self-promoting, it’s an ego problem. At least: that’s the rule I set for myself. Just sayin.

Unfollow-Button[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]6) You follow way more people than follow you[/highlight] (like: twice as many). If you’re not a close friend of mine and this is true–you might get unfollowed eventually, because it’s often a sign of someone who is using social media marketting protools instead of real live interaction. This one lights up my “twitter authenticity radar.” It’s not a hard-and-fast rule (some of my favorite people are completely unknown people) but the radar goes off on this one for sure. Don’t worry, friends, if we’ve been pals for a bit and this is true I don’t unfollow you!

[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]7) You are a hater. [/highlight]You spew stuff out hating on people all the time. If someone does this often I boot em from my follow list. The only exception I make is those who hate excessively on Tom Brady. Hating on the New England Patriots entirely permissible in my feed.

[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]8) You don’t follow me back.[/highlight] If you’re famous I might give you a pass. But other wise, come on… follow back bro! Here’s where you can go to follow me on Twitter if you don’t already.

And here’s how to stay in touch with me in general.

So how about you? Which of the above reasons make you unfollow someone? Or what other reasons make you unfollow someone on Twitter?

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